Global History and Culture Centre Blog
The Travel Account of Francisco Álvares: Ethiopian-European Relations in the Late Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Century
PhD student Mathilde Alain explores Ethiopian-European interactions in the late fifteenth century and early sixteenth century via Francisco Álvares’ travel account. Álvares accompanied a Portuguese embassy to Ethiopia and his account depicts the diplomatic relations between the Portuguese and the Ethiopian sovereign, Ləbnä Dəngəl. Alain also highlights traces of contacts between Ethiopia and Europe in the account and points to its limits.
Golden Fever in the 1920s–30s and the Soviet Reception of Medieval Alchemy
The reception of alchemy in the early USSR remains a completely unknown field. This is despite the fact that many historians now work extensively on the history of alchemy more broadly. However, there were many mentions of alchemy both in the occult and the science literature in Russian in the 1920s and 1930s. In this blog entry, PhD student Sergei Zotov discusses how transnational connections in the beginning of the twentieth century shaped the reception of alchemy in the USSR.
Managers from the British World: A Global Approach to Sheep Farming Industry Labour Disciplines in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, 1837-1956
From the late nineteenth century onwards, enterprising men from Britain and the British Empire began arriving in Southern Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, in Argentina and Chile. Part of a wider process of Europeanisation and capitalist colonisation, these men managed an imported activity which deeply transformed this South American borderland region: the sheep farming industry. An important part of this process was the installation of labour regimes, where managers from the British world introduced new practices of disciplining the local workforce. However, as Nicolás Gómez Baeza argues in this blog post, this history of Patagonian local capitalisms was also one of British-global-imperial transfers of diverse capitalist and management knowledge and behaviours.
Who wears a mask? The global pandemic and a brief history of masks in Republican China
Amidst the current Covid-19 pandemic, the issue of wearing masks has become a topic of international public concern. During the early stages of this global pandemic, wearing masks was mostly associated with certain regional identities in Asia. Yet, as Zhu Jing shows in this latest contribution to the GHCC pandemic mini-series, wearing masks as a public health precaution has a very long and global history. Perhaps surprisingly, the introduction of masks in Republican China in the first half of the twentieth century was a direct outflow of interactions with, and influences from, the West.
Mapping the Global Imaginary, 1500-1900: Subsistence Agriculture and Estate Plans in the Early Modern Caribbean
On 14-15 February 2019, the Warwick-Stanford conference on 'Mapping the Global Imaginary, 1500-1900' was held at The David Rumsey Map Center. In this guest blog, Professor Kären Wigen (Stanford) explains how the items on display during the conference frame our discussions of early modern cartography, after which Dr Bertie Mandelblatt (John Carter Brown Library) illustrates her research on subsistence agriculture and the American plantation economy by focusing on an eighteenth-century estate plan produced in the French colony of Saint Domingue: the Plan géometrique de l'habitation de Mr. Guilleaume François Vallée by the royal surveyor, Mancel.